Top Pujas of Kolkata in 2015 – Mahnavami

Mahanabami or Nabami is the third of the four days which comprise Durga Puja for most. After the euphoria of Saptami and Ashtami, Nabami brings about a certain sadness, the end of the grand carnival being at hand.

However, the day begins with a lot of expectations, like the rest of the days. The joy is still in the air. Like on the other days, people visit pandals in large numbers, dressed in all their finery.

The highlight of Nabami is the dhunuchi naach, or dance with a dhunuchi, which is held in the evenings. It follows the sandhya aarti, that is, the evening puja.

Let’s take a look at the some of the most talked about Barowari Pujas of Kolkata:




WHERE: College Square


THEME: It is a traditional puja. There is no theme as such. The College Square Durga Puja is especially famous for its lighting.




WHERE: Manicktala

NEAREST METRO: Girish Park/ Central

THEME: The theme is synthesis of tradition and modernity, which reflects the environment-friendly message of sustainable development. The theme is in keeping with the spirit of the new UN agenda of sustainable development goals. Bio-degradable materials like coconut shells have been used.




WHERE: Manicktala


THEME: The theme is ‘Theme: Uttorer Kolahol Abar Parimal ‘. The pandal is decked up with decorations made of bamboo, paper and clay. The gods and goddesses are in the form of big dolls.




WHERE: Dum Dum Park

NEAREST METRO: Belgachia/ Dum Dum/ Sovabazar

THEME: The theme is the river Narmada and the famous places on its banks.




WHERE: Ultadanga


THEME: The theme depicts the balance of nature. The pandal has models of the sun, sunflowers, honeybees.




WHERE: Abhay Mitra Street


THEME: Earthquake relief efforts by the Indian Army in Nepal.


Bonedi Bari Durga Puajs of Kolkata – 3

During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, especially during the Colonial Regime. These families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Every one of the families gathers to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.

Let’s take a look at some of the Bonedi Bari Pujas:




32 Darpanarayan Tagore Street, Kolkata – 700006


(Coming from Girish Park, you have to walk quite a bit as it is an one way. After Crossing Rabindra Sarani, you will find Jadulal Mallick Road on your right. Enter the lRoad as then again take a left turn to enter Darpanaryan Street. The Mallick Bari will fall in your left.


If you are not intersted in walking, use the driving directions given to reach Khelat Ghosh’s house ( Serial no 8). Drive straight through Jadulal Mallick Road and you will reach Darpanarayan Tagore Street on your right.)

The Durga Puja of Baishnab Das Mallick’s house is 235 years old. Originating from Chinsurah, Baishnab Das Mallick was Gold Merchant and later went into Real Estate too. The Durga Puja was started by him in 1785 after he saw the Goddess in his dream. The huge Mallick Residence has a large courtyard. The most interesting thing about the Durga Idol of this house is that there is no Lakhsmi and Saraswati Idol here, but two Jaya and Bijoya idols which are not only taller than Kartick and Ganesh idols and but they are taller than the Durga Idol too. Goddess Durga is seated here on the lap of Shiva.



20 Vivekananda Road, Kolkata – 700006


(Just a few steps before Rabindra Sarani, while coming from Girish Park. The house falls on your left on the road. There is only two three houses between Shibkrishna Dawn Lane and Narasingha Dawn’s House. For Driving directions use the same instructions given in Jorasanako Dawn House (Serial No 9) )


Descendants from Kotulpur in Bankura, the family of Narasingh Chandra Dawn celebrates Durga Puja from 1859 which was inaugurated by late Late Nandalal Daw. In Early Days, the family did trading on spices. At present they are leading Gun Makers and Merchants.




78, Nimtala Ghat Street, Kolkata – 700006


(From Central Avenue , you have to take a turn at Dani Ghosh lane – extension Of Beadon Street and drive straight. Cross Rabindra Sarani and drive straight into Nimtala Ghat Street just like street direction of Khelat Bhawan (Serial no 8). Only in this case you do not turn left. Instead you drive straight crossing a huge ruin on your right (which was once Scottish Church School). The Dutta Bari will fall on your right. )


Hatkhola Dutta House was constructed by Dewan Jagataram Dutta in the late eighteenth century. His Grandfather Ramchandra Datta was employed in East India Comapany’s Export import Division in Patna Warehouse. A very conservative family who stayed away from the usual frivolities of wasting money has been carrying their Durga Puja since last 200 years.




“Ramdulal Nibas”, 67E Beadon Street ( Alias Dani Ghosh Street), North Kolkata


(At the crossing of Dani Ghosh Street (extension of Beadon Street after Hedua) and Central Avenue. The location is so prominent that you cannot simply miss this house. )


At his Beadon street residence,Ram Dulal Dey (Deb Sarkar) started organising Durga Puja from the year 1770. He was the first Bengali entrepreneur who became a millionaire. After his demise, the Puja was carried on by his sons Asuthosh Dey (Deb Sarkar) and Pramatha Nath Dey (Deb Sarkar), more commonly known as ‘Chatu babu and Latu babu’ which continues by his grandson Anath Nath Dey(Deb Sarkar).The highlight of the idol is presence of Jaya and Bijaya, the two companions of Parvati, who flank Durga poised on lotuses. They have no Veena or Pot but just have their hand raised




19, Nilmani Mitra Street & 42, Beadon Row, North Kolkata


( Walking on a few meters on Jatindra Mohan Avenue ( alias Central avenue) from Chatu Babu Laltu Babu’s house towards Sovabazar, Nilmani Mitra street falls in the right direction. The First house is the massive building Of the Mitras with a large and maintained Thakur Dalan, while the second is a small house with a small run down Thakururdalan)


The palatial building of Mitras came into existence during the times of Durgacharan Mitra who had several business including being court jeweller of Nawab Siraj -ud -Daulah. His Nephew Nilmani Mitra continued the legacy. Later the family’s condition declined. but Nilmani Mitra’s grandson Radhakrishna bought back fortune in the family. It was Radhakrishna who started Durga Puja in 1807. This used to be one of the three top Banedi Pujas of Kolkata along with Jorasnako Dawn Bari and Sova bazar Rajbari. The rituals are interesting and very meticulously followed.

Women shakti and the big TMC bypoll win – Derek O’Brien

Durga Puja has arrived. Durga, the goddess of power and strength, is perhaps the most important goddess of the Hindus. She is a multi-dimensional goddess, with many names, many personas, and many facets. As Mahishasuramardini or Shakti, she is the destroyer of evil, the triumphant slayer of the demon Mahishasura. As Kali, she turns black as the night, terrible in rage and fury, goddess of time and empowerment. As Parvati, she is the demure and pretty consort of Lord Shiva. She is Bhawani, the symbol of life, she is Sati, the object of death, she is Basanti, the herald of springtime. She is also Amba, Jagadhatri, Tara, Ambika and Annapurna. Durga, through all her forms, encompasses the essence of salvation and sacrifice.

But my favourite interpretation of Durga Puja and Maa Durga is ‘women’s shakti’. There are so many examples that I could site from different fields, be it sport, medicine or even the corporate world. But the example I would like to share with you is from politics.

Though, only 11% of India’s MPs are women, the Women’s Reservation Bill proposes to take this number to 33.33%. We are extremely proud yet humbled that the percentage of women MPs in the Trinamool Congress is a healthy 35%.

The lady who helped us cross this threshold is my colleague Mamatabala Thakur, who was elected from Bongaon, in January this year.

For me, the story of the by-elections for the Bongaon parliamentary seat and the Krishnaganj assembly seat, earlier this year, was about women’s power in politics. This is not just a reference to Mamata Banerjee, our stalwart leader, who has fought the onslaught of two successive governments at the Centre and emerged vindicated, but also of our Party’s culture of empowering women down the line.

The by-election was necessitated when our MP, Kapil Krishna Thakur, passed away in October 2014. He was a leading light of the Matua community, and there were many contenders for his seat of Bongaon. His brother was a Trinamool MLA and minister in the state government, who resigned and joined the BJP, as did his brother’s son. Now both father and son were contenders for the BJP nomination, with the son – nephew of the late Kapil Krishna Thakur – finally getting the ticket.

Who would the Matua community back? Would it stay true to Trinamool or would it swing with that section of the Thakur family that had defected to the BJP? The decision was taken by Mamata Banerjee and the 95-year-old matriarch of the Matua community, Binapani Devi, the “Great Mother” of the Matua people, ageing but still sharp as a needle. Rather than back her son or grandson in the BJP – or even her second surviving son (Kapil Krishna Thakur’s other brother) – a new name was proposed: Mamatabala Thakur, the late Kapil Krishna Thakur’s wife.

The lady, a newcomer to politics, who was very aware of the social and economic conditions and challenges among her constituents, won easily. The Matua community, with its origins in a religious reform movement in erstwhile east Bengal, taught a few lessons in women’s shakti and in consistent, principled politics to city-slicker media honchos, who had all but announced a BJP victory.

Bonedi Bari Durga Pujas of Kolkata – 2

During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, especially during the Colonial Regime. These families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Every one of the families gathers to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.

Let’s take a look at some of the Bonedi Bari Pujas:





56 Bramho Samaj Road, Behala, Kolkata


Near Behala Tram Depot


Jagat Ram Mukherji original hailed from Barrackpur. He had a second marriage in the Haldar Family and settled in Behala in 1740. He had one daughter and four sons from this marriage. Once his daughter along with his nephews went to visit the Durga Puja of his maternal uncle house – the Haldar Family. She was not properly attended there and so being insulted she returned back home and asked his father Jagat Ram Mukherji to conduct Durga Puja at his home. It was Navami, the penultimate day of Durga Puja, so instead of worshiping an idol, symbolic Ghot Puja was done. From next year till 1867 Clay idol of Goddess Durga was worshiped in this house.In 1868, Jyotinath Mukherjee – great grandson of Jagat Ram made Durga idol of Gold, which is being worshiped till date.



13 Rani Rashmoni Road, 18/3 S.N. Banerjee Road and 18 Rani Rashmoni Road


(At Janbazaar at the crossing of Rani Rashmoni road and S.N. Banerjee Road. One end of Rani Rashmoni Road lands at Lenin Sarani, while the other part extends into Mirza Ghalib Street alias Free School Street. Driving through this street takes you to Park Srteet. There are two houses here. One on S.N. Banerjee Road and the other on Rani Rashmoni Road)


Founder of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple and a pillar of strength in the male dominated society, Rani Rashmoni started Durga Puja at her S.N. Banerjee Road residence. After her death in in 1861, his sons-in-law and daughters continued Durga Puja celebrations in their respective premises.In the S.N. Banerjee Road house the festival is celebrated by two families while at Rani Rashmoni Road house, Puja is celebrated by one family.



47 Pathuria Ghata Street, North Kolkata


(Pathuriaghata Street is the opposite lane to Lohia Matri Sadan on Rabindra Sarani. At the entrance of the lane is the Pancher Pally Puja Pandal. Walk straight and you will reach the massive Khelat Bhawan on your left. Alternatively if you are coming by car it is better that you enter through Dani Ghosh Sarani (alias Beadon Street’s extension) from Central Avenue. Cross Rabindra Sarani(which is one way) and enter into Nimatala Ghat Street. Drive a bit and then you will get Baishnab Sett Lane on your left which later merges into Jadulal Mallick Lane. Enter the lane and you will shortly get Pathuriaghata Street on your left. Walking from this end you will get Khelat Bhawan on your right.)


The Thakurdalan of Khelatchandra Ghosh’s House is one of the largest such structure in Kolkata, if not THE Largest. Apart from having a 85 feet long corridor of Marble, this premises showcases a grand dancing hall, which has been converted into Khelat Ghosh Memorial Hall.The premises was planned and designed was made by German architecture company, Martin & Burn. Apart from being a Diwan in Warren Hastings Court, Khelat Chandra Ghosh was known for his philanthropic and cultural activities.



12A Shibkrishna Dawn Lane , North Kolkata


(Near Girish Park. Walking towards Rabindra Sarani on Vivekananda Road, this lane originates on your left just after no 24A Vivekananda Road. It is better to walk here from Girish park as it is one way. If you are coming by car, you need to come the same way as mentioned in road direction of Khelat Ghosh’s house (Serial no 8), drive straight through Jadulal Mallick Lane and reach Kali Krishna Tagore Street. Turn left and drive towards Girish Park under the shadow on unfinished Vivekananda Road Flyover. Cross Rabindra Sarani and you will get Shibkrishna Dawn Lane. You have to park your car and walk into the narrow lane to reach the Collosal Dawn house )


A successful businessman Gokul Chandra Dawn of Satgachia came to reside at Jorasanko. Here He adopted Shibkrishna Dutta, his relatives son as his own. On this occasion, Gokul Chandra Dawn celebrated Durga Puja in 1840. From then the tradition has been carried on by Shibkrishna Dawn and later his descendents till date. Shibkrishna Dawn built up a Coalliary and had major contribution in building up Rail Lines. The Thakurdalan and the courtyard is huge and has been shooting venue of many a films. It is said that Goddess Durga comes to wear her Jeweleries at the Jorasanko Dawn House. The reason being Gold ornaments in large quantity to decorate the Chalchitra along with Ornaments of diamonds and emeralds were brought from Europe.



159, Balaram De Street Kolkata , North Kolkata


(Near Girish Park Metro Station. Walking towards Sovabazar from Girish Park, Balaram Dey Street Falls on your left just after the Metro Station. Balaram Dey Street can also be approached from Kali Krishna Tagore Street. The other end of Balaram Dey Street is just opposite to the Shibkrishna Dawn Lane )


Initiated by Shyamal Dhon Dutta, a Solicitor of High Court with roots in Hath Khola Dutta Bari in the year 1882, the Puja is presently carried by 6th descendent of the family. The house is known for following many ancient rituals including carrying idols on bamboos like old days instead of taking them on truck. Sandhi Puja and Baran on Dasami of this house is a delight to watch.

Top Pujas of Kolkata in 2015 – Mahastami

Mahashtami is the most important of Durga Puja. People are gripped by feverish revelry and are ready to make the most of the day, in whatever way they can. The morning starts with pushpanjali across homes and pandals. Colourful congregations of pandal-hoppers are seen everywhere.

After the pushpanjali is over, it is time to gorge on some light snacks, and wait for the bhog to complete the daytime platter. The bhog, in most places, comprises steaming golden yellow khichuri, along with begun bhaja, a vegetable mix known as lyabra, chutney and sweets. The culinary delights vary from puja to puja, but the enjoyment of savouring bhog with one’s dear ones remains the same.

Let’s take a look at the some of the most talked about Barowari Pujas of Kolkata:




WHERE: Rashbehari


THEME: The theme is ‘Dandiya’, and hence visitors can expect a slice of Gujarat and Rajasthan here. Murals depicting figures in colourful clothes, cloth camels, peacocks and pottery of the regions are seen here. While Durga’s idol is seated on a wooden swing with Ganesh and Kartik on her lap, Lakshmi and Saraswati are placed by her side. The backdrop is designed like a haveli, complete with jharokhas.




WHERE: Rashbehari


THEME: The theme is ‘Harshaparbon ‘. Karam, the principal festival of the Santhals of the Odisha-Jharkhand border is on display here.




WHERE: Ballygunge


THEME: It is a traditional puja. There is no theme as such.




WHERE: Gariahat


THEME: The pandal is modelled on Shila Devi Mandir, situated inside Amber Fort in Jaipur.




WHERE: Baghbazar


THEME: It is a traditional puja. There is no theme as such.




WHERE: Chittaranjan Avenue


THEME: The theme is African Safari. Tribal sculpture, masks, etc. are on display.


Bonedi Bari Durga Puajs of Kolkata – 1

During Durga Puja festival at Bengal the star attraction are the different Barowari Pujas conducted by several clubs and associations. Generally overlooked by the Pandal hoppers are the Durga Pujas held privately in several families some of whom were affluent and stalwarts in yesteryear, especially during the Colonial Regime. These families till date perform Durga Puja with dedication maintaining all the rituals. The Pujas are all of 100+ years, some even 200+ and 300+ years old. Every one of the families gathers to celebrate Durga Puja with pomp and show as an annual get-together.

Let’s take a look at some of the Bonedi Bari Pujas:



26, Sabarna Para Road, Kolkata – 700008, Barisha


(Near Sakherbazar. One has to go straight from Behala Chowrasta through Diamond Harbour Road to reach Sakherbazar bus stop. Turn right to land at K.K. Roychowdhury road which eventually right turns into Sabarna Para Road besides the Dwadash Shiva Temple ( 12 Shiva Temples). )


Celebrated since 1610 at their ancestral home at Barisha, this is perhaps the oldest family Durga Puja or it might even be the first organized Durga Puja of Bengal. The family performs eight pujas by its different branches, the main being the Aatchala. Out of these eight pujas, six are at Barisha, the seventh is at Birati while the eighth at Nimta.




36 and 33, Raja Nabakrishna Street, Sovabazar, Kolkata – 700005


(Near Sovabazar Metro Station. After you get down from metro Walk backwards towards Shyambazar keeping the Red temple (Lal Mandir) on your left. Raja Nabakrishna Street will fall on your right. The house on the left in this street is No 33 – the old Rajbari and the one on the right at No 36 is the New one )


It was in the year 1757 after the Battle of Plassey, the first Durga Puja at the Shobha Bazar Choto Rajbari at 33 Raja Nabakrishna Road was initiated. Lord Clive and Warren Hastings were invited to the Durga Puja. Eminent personalities like Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekanada and Rabindranath Tagore had visited the Rajbari on numerous occasion.



39, Jatindra Mohan Avenue, North Kolkata or Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari, 142, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata – 700007


( Direction 1 : Jatindra Mohan Avenue is the northern extension of Central Avenue. If you are driving towards Shovabazar, the Mallick House will come on the left just before Mitra Cafe near to Shovabazar Metro)

(Direction 2 :Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari is located at the junction of Mahatma Gandhi Road and Rabindra Sarani. The house is located on the Southern side of the road opposite to Bangur Buildings)


About 400 years old, this Durga Puja is perhaps one of the most professionally managed large scale Bonedi Barir Durga puja of 2013. The Idol worshiped here is of a Astadhatu Singhabahini (Lion Rider, a form of Durga) which has an interesting hsitory. Around 1614, Baidyanath De Mallick acquired this idol from a cave at Chandranath Hill of Chattagram ( Now at Bangladesh), where Singhabahini was being worshiped secretly, By instruction through Divine intervention in his dream, Baidyanath De Mallick brought the idol back to his home at Saptagram of West Bengal. The puja of this idol alteratively takes places at Jatindra Mohan Avenue house or at the Kashinath Mullick Thakurbari at Mahatma Gandhi Road, at Jatindra Mohan Avenue in 2015.



17/2, Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street


(The house is located at Kaliprasad Chakraborty Street,Bagbazar,Near Bagbazar Gouriya Math & opposite to Khirodeprasad Bidyabinod Mancha on Bagbazar Street & very near to Baghbazar Sarbojaneen Durgapujo Pandal)


The Durga Idol of the Haldar family ages over 400 years. It is said that one of the Haldar Family ancestors dreamt of this idol buried under Fisherman’s Hut. The idol was dug and recovered. However in 19th century the family left this statue unattended and worshiped a larger idol.



Amarendra Bhavan, 4/1, Roy Bahadur A.C. Roy Road, Behala, Kolkata


Behala, (Near Behala Thana)


Started by Ray Bahadur Ambika Charan Roy on 1756, Behala Ray Barir Pujo is being celebrated now at the palatial residence “Amarendra Bhaban” of his third son Amarendra Roy’s Family. Ambika Charan Roy had amassed enough wealth to be set aside solely for the purpose of conducting the Durga Puja over the years. Other than Durga Puja, Jagadhatri Puja is also celebrated here.

Top Pujas of Kolkata in 2015 – Mahasaptami

Mahasaptami, or simply Saptami, is usually considered the first day of Durga Puja. Pran Prathistha, Kolabou Snan and Bodhan are the most important rituals performed on this day.

During dawn, just as the first light of the sun descends on earth, Kolabou Snan, or bathing of the Kolabou (which is a banana stem wrapped in a sari, signifying Lord Ganesha’s wife), and related rituals are performed. Through these, Pran Prathistha, or breathing of life into the idol of Goddess Durga, is accomplished. The idea is to symbolically symbolically transfer life from water to the banana tree, and through it, to Goddess Durga. The ritual is performed on the banks of a river or a pond.

The Kolabou ritual is an elaborate one. The Kolabou is brought back in a procession and it is placed near Ganesha inside the pandal.

Let’s take a look at the some of the most talked about Barowari Pujas of Kolkata:




WHERE: Bosepukur


THEME: Fight between good and evil. The pandal is made of earthen tea cups (bhars).




WHERE: Talbagan, Kasba


THEME: The theme is ‘Narishakti’. There is a handicraft screen of ‘Banganari’, depicting the women of Bengal, who, with their determination, courage, endurance and perseverance, have changed the face of women of Bengal. There is also a 3D projection mapping show, paying tribute to famous women of Bengal.




WHERE: Deshapriya Park


THEME: World’s tallest Durga idol, made of fibre glass.




WHERE: Gariahat


THEME: It is a traditional puja. There is no theme as such.




WHERE: Lake View Road, Deshapriya Park


THEME: Rajasthani doll art




WHERE: Off Bidhan Sarani, opposite Star Theatre

NEAREST METRO: Sovabazar/ Girish Park

THEME: The theme is ‘Meyaebela’, Unusually, the puja begins on the day of protipod.

Top Pujas of Kolkata in 2015 – Maha Panchami & Shasthi

Mahasasthi, the sixth day from the day of the new moon or Mahalaya, is the day on which the Durga Puja rituals actually begin. It is believed that on this day Goddess Durga arrives in the mortal world from her heavenly abode, accompanied by her children, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Ganesh (seen beside Goddess Durga in the pandals).

Devi Bodhon or the unveiling of the goddess happens on the eve of Mahasasthi. It is also on this day that she is adorned with the various armaments which she had used to defeat Mahishasura. She is welcomed with much fanfare amidst the beats of dhak. The ritual of Kalaparambho precedes Bodhon, Aamontron and Adhibash.

Let’s take a look at the some the most talked about Barowari Pujas of Kolkata:



WHERE: Near Chetla Bridge, Desher Khabar


THEME: ‘Joy of creation’. Pandal made of drums and masks. In the middle of the pandal hangs a chandelier made of more than 100 spoons. Idol by Sanatan Dinda.



WHERE: 14 no. bus stand, Behala

NEAREST METRO: Kalighat/ Rabindra Sarobar

THEME: The mythological churning of the ocean, fight between good and evil. Idol by Bhabatosh Sutar.



WHERE: New Alipore

NEAREST METRO: Rabindra Sarovar/ Kalighat

THEME: The theme is Maa-Mother-Ammi, signifying universal brotherhood.



WHERE: Naktala


THEME: World’s biggest flower



WHERE: Santoshpur


THEME: Folk art of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand



WHERE: Jodhpur Park

NEAREST METRO: Rabindra Sarovar

THEME: Folk art and dolls from various parts of Bengal, for a traditional ambience. The pandal will be made of clay. Idol by Sanatan Dinda.


Kolkata Police gears up for a smooth traffic management during the Durga Pujas

Crowd and traffic control during Durga Puja in the added areas of Kolkata – where there’s been a phenomenal rise in number of mega-budget pujas – is turning into a bigger challenge every year for Kolkata Police.

Deployment of forces

As many as 4,000 personnel will be posted across the city along with home guards. Traffic will be barred on many roads from 3 PM to 1 AM on Panchami and up to 3 AM till Navami. Kolkata Police has also drawn up specific traffic regulations on 133 streets.

A few hundred constables and over 450 trainee traffic sergeants will be the additional forces on the road on all Puja days. Most of the divisions and the traffic wing have increased their staff strength. This extra force will be deployed in the added areas where road space is restricted. In addition, help will be taken of the numerous of CCTV cameras to cover all the major crossings of the added areas. Based on real time inputs, necessary deployments will be made.

Newly-added areas under Kolkata Police

The added areas spread over 104 sq km and include 13 police stations. Unlike other years, this time the full police bandobast will begin on Panchami itself.

There are at least 28 big pujas in this new area and over 1,000 medium-scale pujas. Additional manpower has been sought from the state police but top officers have been asked to prepare their plan with existing resources.

Other arrangements

NCC cadets, scouts, students and several NGOs will be used for managing crowds at pandals, said sources. Like last year,information regarding traffic, the situation at pandals and those lost in crowd will be transmitted on the AIR FM channel.

The Government has put a restriction on immersion of Durga Idols in Kolkata on 23 and 24 October as the dates clash with Muharram.

Going by the almanac, this year Vijay Dashami falls on 23 October when, after offering a three-day puja, the Idols of goddess Durga are traditionally immersed into river. But over the years, many community puja organisers have developed the tendency to perform the ritual even a day or two after Vijay Dashami.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who held a meeting with various Durga Puja committee heads and religious leaders at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, made the announcement on restriction on immersion of Durga Idols in the city.

She announced that for household Durga Puja in Kolkata, the immersion of Idols will be on 22 October after the Maha Navami puja is over.

There will be no immersion on 23 and 24 October as Muharram, which is observed by a large section Muslim population in the city, falls on those dates. Allowing the immersion on those two days might lead to traffic congestion and law and order situation.

The immersion of Idols of all community Durga Puja in Kolkata will be from 12 noon on wards on 25 October. The immersion will continue the next day, that is, on 26 October, from 8 am to 2 pm as the Laxmi Puja falls on that day.